The suite spot
The Bristol in Rosebank combines warm service with polished exciting design for a stylish city stay
Hotels can often lack x-factor, and the personal touch – their neutrality often an unavoidable necessity in catering to an ever-evolving clientele. Home Suite Hotels aims to change that, while still offering a high-end and professional product for business and leisure travellers. Its first location, The Bristol in Rosebank, Johannesburg, makes a case for this innovative new model, which places design and service at the forefront.
The hotel concept is targeted at discerning business travellers and well-travelled tourists and locations are key, trendy urban and commercial nodes across South Africa. (Three hotels are planned for Cape Town in Sea Point, Gardens and De Waterkant too.) The gap, according to founder Gidon Novick “is travellers looking for both the facilities of a large international hotel brand and the intimacy of a smaller boutique hotel”.
Designed by renowned interior studio Tonic Design, the spaces are polished, but also packed with interesting details and eclectic accessories, not least of which is the art, all local, original and bought on auctions. Philippe van der Merwe and Greg Gamble of Tonic are known for their elegant and inspiring spaces and they took cognizance of the location and context when conceptualizing the space. “Our client was happy to take risks, which was great – we wanted to challenge the basic hotel concept a bit. Joburg is such a vibrant city and yet the hotels are devoid of original positioning. We thought, what’s the point of doing another bland and generic room when you’d be competing with every other hotel,” says Van der Merwe. They followed this thinking with an exciting aesthetic – a strong and contemporary earthy palette, layered materials and cutting-edge furniture – but ensured too that they got the essentials of a hotel stay right (insanely comfortable beds and beautiful linen, good coffee, etc). “The concept was home and it was important that the design not override comfort. It wasn’t about making a statement,” adds Van der Merwe.
“Imagine the sense of excitement when visiting a friend’s house and then the feeling of warmth when you are welcomed and made to feel completely at home. That’s what we’re trying to create with Home Suite Hotels,” say Novick. While location and design are important, service is the magical ingredient. “Each and every member of the team regardless of their functional role is responsible for creating an outstanding guest experience. We only hire people that get pleasure from helping others.”